Fragrant gins we love – the list gets longer!

Our discovery of Theodore Pictish Gin made the list of ‘fragrant gins we love’ get longer, and we would like you to consider for a moment the many hours The Perfume Society team have devoted to this research for you and you alone, dear reader.

A little while ago we shared with you some of our favourite gins infused with ingredients more often sniffed in scents – inviting you to stop and sip the roses – but having been introduced to Theodore Gin at a ‘Gin & Pefume’ evening in London recently, we wanted to share our latest fragrant finding with you too.

Inspired by the lost civilisation of the Picts, this aromatic Scottish gin is actually an experiemental batch, and includes six scented botanicals of pine, damask rose, pomelo and bourbon vetiver – ‘distilled in a multi-stage process using an old charentais still alongside a rotovap to extract the best flavours and aromas from each distinct botanical.’

 

 

The makers explain that, ‘Pomelo is distilled in old Charentais still at ‘feu nu’ to extract the elegant citric notes of the fruit. Ginger is double distilled again in Charentais in order to extract woody warmth and powdery spiciness. Honey and fresh pine needles are distilled under vacuum using a rotavapor to preserve the freshness of the botanicals. Coriander, juniper, pink pepper, chamomile, kaffir limes, orris, cardamom and lavender are distilled in classical London Dry style

After distillation and blending, we further infuse Theodore Gin with Oolong tea, which gives it a green-grassy astringency that adds layers of complexity as well as balancing the natural sweetness of the gin, as well as giving the liquid a pale straw colour.

This intricate and delicate elixir is the product of a perfumer and two master distillers, one British and one French, combining old and new techniques.’

Having sampled this aromatic gin in three differing cocktails (for research purposes) we can tell you that the lavender and smoky coolness of the vetiver are certainly very noticable to our noses, as were the warm tingle of ginger balanced against the soft powder of orris and gentle tea undertones in the taste.

For true fragrant gin connoisseurs, best sipped with a non-obtrusive tonic alone, we feel, and perhaps with a creatively foraged garnish to compliment the floral notes most? We shall be looking forward to conducting further scented research throughout the warmer days to come, either way…

Theodore Pictish Gin £45
theodoregin.com

By Suzy Nightingale

Scent-inspired gins at Harvey Nichols!

Scent inspired gins certainly get our attention, and there’s no doubt that the gin-craze continues apace. Now, we’ve tried many a tipple here at The Perfume Society (purely for research purposes), but never one inspired by the smell of embalmed Egyptian mummies. Until last night, that is…

We were invited to the press launch of That Boutique-y Gin Company‘s four new gins, all inspired by fragrance and made with the collaboration of Lizzie Ostrum (AKA Odette Toilette) and presented with paintings by brilliant synaesthetic artist, Phillipa Stanton.

The concept takes synaesthesia (the mixing of the senses – ascribing smells and tastes to colours, for example) and bottles it, allowing your sense of smell and taste to take you on an immersive journey into some really quite wonderful (and weird) places…

Big Dipper Gin: Sweet cocoa, earthy cardamom and smoky botanicals capture the nostalgic smell of the funfair.

Fresh Rain Gin: Inspired by the science of perichor (the smell of the first rainfall after a hot, dry period), combining beetroot and edible clay.

Dead King Gin: Featuring botanicals commonly associated with the Egyptian embalming process – rosemary, honey, moss and myrrh.

Beware of the Woods: Wood-y botanicals such as Icelandic moss, nutmeg and cubeb combine to take you on a journey through the forest.

That Boutique-y Gin Company Olfactor-y Gins £42 for 500ml
harveynichols.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

 

6 cocktail-inspired scent trends you have to try

Sitting in the sunshine and sipping a glass (or three) of something thirst-quenching is just the thing – and perfumers seem similarly inclined. If you’re planning a holiday, or simply enjoying our own (currently clement!) weather, this is definitely the time to change-up your fragrance game and perhaps consider one of these cocktail-inspired scents…

We might as well start as we mean to go on, so fancy something fruity? Zara have added three new fragrances with a Cocktail Collection (how apropos), encompassing three favourite tipples: Cherry Sling, Peach Margarita and Sweet Daiquiri. Peony, peach and pear; melon, rose and musk or nashi pear, bamboo and lotus: whichever you choose, these are joyfully exuberant (and very pocket-friendly!) ways to wear the trend.

Zara Cocktail Collection £9.99 for 200ml eau de toilette
Buy them at zara.com

For those who prefer their snifters a bit more straight-up, the cool, clear crackle of ice in a crystal tumbler is wonderfully evoked by perfumer Sidonie Lancesseur. A side order of chilled cardamom and coriander fizz pleasingly with aldehydes as bitter rhubarb accord, a splash of clear rose and lily of the valley swirl with leather, sandalwood and oakmoss. Distinctly dashing.

By Kilian Vodka on the Rocks £215 for 100ml eau de parfum
At bykilian.co.uk

Peach schnapps with lychee and crystalised rose petals? Lalique‘s Rêve d’Infini sees us sipping iced martinis in a fabulous Art-Nouveau hotel. Love a drop of rum? Swashbuckler’s should head for the exotic Atkinsons Pirates Grand Reserve, while those more clasically inclined may wish to wear a Chambord and Champagne-like mix in Vince Camuto‘s Amore. Explore all of these (and many more) in this unashamedly decadent Discovery Box…

The Velvet Collection £19 (£15 for VIP Subscribers)
At our shop

Many perfume-lovers seem to share a love for gin – perhaps it’s the wonderful array of botanicals that are now being used to infuse various small-batch brands, so reminiscent of the way fragrances are made? For fellow gin-lovers, this is now an absolute classic – a crisply refined cocktail on a pleasingly debauched base of black cherry, soft leather, crytalised brown sugar and exotic amber. To be splashed with abandon and relished at leisure.

Penhaligon’s Juniper Sling £100 for 50ml eau de toilette
At penhaligons.com

Visiting the Kilchoman distillery on their beautiful remote island inspired a scent that captures not only the rich flavours of the golden liquor, but hints of hedgerows and the windswept, rugged mosslands for which they’re famed. Galbanum brings to mind bright yellow gorse flowers, bergamot and orris mirror the citrus-floral notes found in the whiskey itself, while a cade oil and patchouli create a peaty accord that’s reassuringly (and literally) grounding.

Floris Islay £180 for 100ml eau de parfum
At florislondon.com

Thirst-qunching Watermelons with the freshness of green mandarin, notes of green tea and cooling vetiver; Blood Oranges bursting with vibrant, long-lasting citrus, and Framboise Noire succulent with black raspberries and ripe forest berries with a deep undertone like that of an ultra-smooth red wine… Fruit punch, claret, gourmand liqours, watermelon martinis? Allow yourself to be utterly transported by all in this deliciously curated collection.

Shay & Blue Precious Miniatures £65 (VIP price £55) for 5 x 10ml eau de parfum
At our shop

Pssst! Had your cocktail curiousity piqued? Our Subscribers were the first to be invited to our exclusive Sip & Sniff evening at Jovoy Mayfair (so you’ll need to be signed in to view this invite) on June 20th – where experts will be pairing six scents with matching drinks. But we’ll be giving you more details about this tomorrow, so watch our Events section for news!

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Murdock London & Silent Pool’s scented gin fling

We know that many are striving for a ‘dry January’, but to be honest, we’re far preferring the ‘Ginuary’ approach to this month… and as such were excited to hear that gentlemen’s grooming aficionados, Murdock London, have teamed up with Surrey-based gin connoisseurs, Silent Pool, for a fragrant gin cocktail experience based on Murdock’s best-selling Cologne.

Watch the beautiful short film below and read on for details of how you can get your hands on some…

Style-seeking chaps who spend £75 or more during their visit to Murdock London salons in Soho, Covent Garden or Shoreditch can now look forward to a bespoke gin made by Silent Pool – based on the intriguingly smoky yet vibrantly citrusy Murdock London fragrance, Black Tea.

Part of Silent Pool’s ‘Intricately Realised‘ series of collaborations, in which they hook-up with suitably sophisticated companies who inspire limited edition infusions of their artisanal gin, we spoke to Stu Bale, Head of Innovation at the Silent Pool distillery, to find out more…

Stu explained their approach to the Murdock London drink was slightly different to previous Intricately Realised versions, built as a fragrance can be composed, so he ‘…started with the base notes, which were black tea, nutmeg and pepper,’ trying many differing kinds he eventually settled on Tasmanian pepper, ‘which gave a great warmth without having overpowering spiciness.’

We were thrilled to hear that long-time friend of The Perfume Society, Henrietta Lovell‘s Rare Tea was the one selected with which to flavour the gin. ‘As far as I’m concerned, it’s the best in the world,’ Says Stu, going on to describe how he infused this, along with nutmeg in the same alcohol they use to macerate the botanicals in Silent Pool gin. Another link to the fragrance world, as perfume compositions must be macerated (allowed time to develop) before they are ready to wear.

Layering the materials by ‘constantly referring [to the fragrance] and working systematically from the base notes through to the top notes,’ Stu then added small amounts of sandalwood and cedar to echo the ‘woody, mysterious oriental vibe’ of the Cologne. Finally he added neroli and pettigrain – classic top notes to a traditional Cologne, and the final mixture is served with tonic water to add the ‘oomph’ of a spritzed scent. Having tirelessly researched the taste of this Cologne-inspired cocktail, we can report that it’s silky smooth with a definite tang of gentle spice-infused tea, and goes down a treat.

Have a look at the short film they made…

We also took the opportunity to douse ourselves in the Black Tea fragrance, which is equal measures of refreshing and riveting – a darker, spicier Cologne than most and all the more intriguing (especially at this time of year). Definitely a scent that can also be enjoyed by women, we might have to buy this as a Valentine’s gift (perhaps with a certificate for one of Murdock London’s many grooming services) and, um, ‘borrow’ it for ourselves…

Murdock London Black Tea £70 for 100ml Cologne
Buy it at murdocklondon.com

Silent Pool’s bespoke #IntricatelyRealised gin is currently a gift when spending £75 or more at Murdock London’s Soho, Covent Garden and Shoreditch branches. While stocks last, so hurry!

Written by Suzy Nightingale